To the Yukon

We had been planning a trip to the Yukon and Alaska with family for a few years now. Finally, this was the right time and we headed out with our son’s half ton truck (thanks Shawn) and our homebuilt teardrop trailer.

One of our campsites was in this beautiful campground in the shadow of Mount Robson, Canada’s tallest mountain.

You’d have thought we were in California with the size of these Giant Red Cedars.

Richard was dwarfed among these giants and the rainforest floor was lush with ferns.

I loved this place, but probably couldn’t find it again as there were no signs – it was just a roadside pullout somewhere south of Jade City, BC on the Cassiar Highway 37.

We had been on the road 3 days before we finally reached the Yukon. Welcome sign is above the teardrop.

In Whitehorse, we visited the Berengia Interpretive Centre with interesting displays and information about Berengia (the Yukon, Alaska and Siberia).

We heard on the news that a baby mammoth had been unearthed nearby and might be one of the oldest ever found in North America.

I was amazed, and a little horrified at the size of ice aged beavers compared to today’s.

This is not just another plane on a pedestal. It is actually Whitehorse’s weathervane. There was little wind when we were there, but the entire plane had rotated considerably since we first looked at it.

The Five Finger Rapids are a place on the Yukon River that the gold miners had to navigate in homemade boats on their way from Skagway to the Klondike. Only the eastern side (closest) is passable and so many of them encountered trouble here. The rapids are mentioned in Jack London’s “The Call of the Wild” which I had downloaded onto my phone’s Audiobooks app. This and Robert Service’s poems were wonderful to listen to during the long daily drives when even satellite radio wasn’t working.

The streets of Dawson City look much the same as they did over a hundred years ago. We took a guided tour of the town where we were able to go in many of the buildings that are closed to the public. The slide on the far mountain was the signal for early miners to keep to the right on the Yukon River as they arrived by homemade boats. If they didn’t, the current could take them a couple of miles downstream before they could land safely.

No fish would escape this harpoon that we saw in the Dawson City Museum.

Another interesting museum artifact was this Standard Desk Calcumeter, forerunner to the calculator.

I would have to relearn punctuation on this old Oliver typewriter.

I can’t imagine what this little chainsaw weighed.

Or what soda tastes like when it’s hot?

They said, “In the Yukon, you either mined the gold, or you mined the miners.” Our tour guide told us that some bartenders would take gold dust as payment and if you weren’t watching him weigh your dust, he might sweep some onto the floor to be cleaned up later.

Since I missed watching my own bloom, I appreciated these ones that grew in a bed by the museum.

A couple giant scoops from Dredge #4, a National Historic Site.

Master gold panner and tour guide, Mark as we all tried to strike it rich on the Klondike River.

A shower caught us in the middle of nowhere on our way to Quartz Creek.

In the above video, you’ll see Liz’s jade being prepared and some of our raft trip down the Klondike River with a bunch of bald eagles.

If you are ever planning to drive to the Yukon and/or Alaska, I would like to recommend a few things:

  • Take clothes for all kinds of weather, regardless of season and use laundromats when available.
  • Don’t count on cellular service, radio, satellite radio or public wifi. Download audiobooks and music to your phone – the road is long.
  • Highways are fairly well maintained.
  • If you get gas when you can, you won’t need to take a jerry can. A blue sign usually tells you know how far to the next services.
  • Take your time and be sure to see what you want.

2 thoughts on “To the Yukon

  1. Thks for the tour of the Yukon. Qe have been up there but on our bucket list to go back. Hopefully next may as we have cancelled it 3 years in a row. It is a gonfor next year for sure.


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